It has been a long 23 years for Momolu Stewart, who has been serving out a life sentence since 1999.
Stewart was tried as an adult and convicted of murder at 16. Now, doubled the age he was when convicted, he has a second chance at life.
In February, Stewart appealed for his sentence to be reduced under the Incarceration Reduction Amendment Act.
This law allows those who have committed a crime under the age of 18 and spent a minimum of 15 years in prison a chance to have their sentences reduced.
According to the Washington Post, during Stewart’s time incarcerated he earned his GED, took courses at Georgetown, and accumulated 1,400 hours of various educational programs, including anger management.
Initially, federal prosecutors opposed immediate release for Stewart as he was charged in two assault with a deadly weapon cases prior to the 1999 murder conviction.
Additionally, he had 32 prison violations on record. Stewart also appealed twice before, falsely claiming innocence.
While on a tour of the D.C Jail for a documentary on the criminal justice system, Kim Kardashian-West encountered Momolu. After their conversation Kardashian-West was compelled to write a letter to the D.C judge presiding over Stewart’s petition.
In her two-page letter, she pens:
“I have been actively involved in cases across the country and in my view, Momolu is especially deserving of your consideration. He has been rehabilitated and is no longer dangerous to society. I also have every confidence that upon his release he will continue to guide others away from a life of crime...”
At his most recent appeal hearing in August, he admitted responsibility for the murder. Stewart explained the detrimental effects of his childhood, detailing how his mother was sentenced to 13 years to life in prison for the murder of his father.
Further, how losing his parents and familial abuse shifted his life.
After court holdings, and receiving over 40 letters in support of Stewart, Superior Court Judge Robert Salerno granted the petition to reduce Stewart’s life sentence.
It has been reported, on October 4, 2019, Judge Salerno suspended Stewart’s sentences. This ruling granted Stewart release and five years of supervised probation.
He had an emotional reunion with his loved ones as he embraced them, and his new found freedom. He spoke to Oxygen stating, “I was buried alive, so now I’ve been resurrected. I’m back and I’m better.”
Stewart says the first thing he wants to do now that he is out is to spend time with his mother and family members.